Airline Won’t Allow People To Fly Without COVID Vaccine

Qantas will not allow passengers on international flights unless they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to departure.

The Austrlian airline’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, has stated that he believes a vaccine will become ‘a necessity’ once the jab is rolled out, not just for Quantas but for other airlines too.

The majority of Qantas’s international routes are currently suspended on account of the ongoing closure of Australia’s borders to non-residents. It’s expected that most of these routes won’t be reopened until sometime in the middle of next year.

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D.B. COOPER HIJACKING: THE ENDURING MYSTERY OF AMERICA’S ONLY UNSOLVED SKYJACKING CASE

On the day before Thanksgiving, November 24, 1971, an unremarkable middle-aged man bought a plane ticket under the name Dan Cooper, paid with cash, and boarded the Boeing 727 for a short afternoon flight from Portland to Seattle.

He sat by himself in the back row of Northwest Orient Flight 305.

He ordered a bourbon and soda, and slipped a note to flight attendant Florence Schaffner shortly after takeoff.

Schaffner assumed it was just another passenger slipping her his phone number and slipped it into her pocket. Cooper urged her to read it.

On the note, Cooper had written, “Miss, I have a bomb here. I want you to sit by me.”

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Black market for negative COVID-19 tests pops up across the globe

A black market for negative COVID-19 tests has popped up across the globe as more countries require travelers to prove their negative status before entering, a report said Wednesday.

In France, seven people were arrested last week for allegedly hawking doctored coronavirus tests at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, the Associated Press reported. The suspects, who were not identified, were charging up to $360 for the fake tests.

Authorities tracked the ring down after finding a man bound for Ethiopia with a fake test, according to the report. The alleged scammers face up to five years in prison if convicted.

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Delta adds 460 people to no-fly list for refusing to wear masks

Usually reserved for suspected terrorists, Delta Airlines has added the names of 460 people to its no-fly lists for refusing to comply with a requirement to wear masks during flights, according to a memo to employees from the company’s CEO.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have focused our efforts on protecting our people, our customers and our communities,” Bastian wrote in the memo sent to employees on Thursday and obtained by ABC News.

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World’s first Covid passport technology will be trialled on flights from Heathrow this week in bid to let passengers travel without risk of quarantine in future BUT requires authorities to trust test lab results from abroad

Coronavirus passport trials are taking place at Heathrow this week to test technology to let people travel the globe without risk of being quarantined.

Passengers on United Airlines and Cathay Pacific are trying out an app called the CommonPass.

The phone software is a digital health pass which can hold a certified COVID-19 test status or show someone has been vaccinated in future in a way designed to satisfy various governments’ different regulations.

It has been launched by non-profit trust Commons Project Foundation, part of the World Economic Forum, in the hope of it will end the days of flyers producing bits of paper, often in different languages.

The tech is very much at the trial stage using volunteers on flights between London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore under government observation.

But it is seen as a longer-term measure to allow air travel to return to something like pre-coronavirus levels. 

However, it is reliant on Governments around the world accepting test results from ‘certified’ laboratories in other countries and allowing those with negative results to enter freely on their say-so.

Dr Bradley Perkins, chief medical officer of The Commons Project, said: ‘Without the ability to trust COVID-19 tests – and eventually vaccine records – across international borders, many countries will feel compelled to retain full travel bans and mandatory quarantines for as long as the pandemic persists.

‘With trusted individual health data, countries can implement more nuanced health screening requirements for entry.’ 

It comes as hopes for a UK airport testing breakthrough this week look set to be dashed after ministers decided to launch another review of the issue.

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New York City to install checkpoints to enforce quarantine for travelers

In addition to the state’s growing travel advisory listing states that are experiencing a seven-day infection rate of over 10 cases per 100,000 people, New York City will impose checkpoints at populous entry points to the city to ensure travelers into the city will comply with the state’s 14-day quarantine mandate. 

Reuters reports that city Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) made the announcement on Wednesday, saying that visitors from the 35 states on New York’s travel advisory must follow quarantine orders to contain the spread of the virus.

“Travelers coming in from those states will be given information about the quarantine and will be reminded that it is required, not optional,” de Blasio told a news briefing. He noted that given specific circumstances, not following the quarantine order could result in a $10,000 fine.

These checkpoint locations will be installed at high-volume bridge and tunnels leading into New York City, beginning Wednesday.

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Will travel be safer by 2022?

It’s 2022 and you’ve just arrived at the travel destination of your dreams. As you get off the plane, a robot greets you with a red laser beam that remotely takes your temperature. You’re still half asleep after a long transoceanic flight, so your brain barely registers the robot’s complacent beep. You had just passed similar checks when boarding the plane hours ago so you have nothing to worry about and can just stroll to the next health checkpoint.

As you join the respiratory inspection queue, a worker hands you a small breathalyser capsule with a tiny chip inside. Conceptually, the test is similar to those measuring drivers’ alcohol levels, but this one detects the coronavirus particles in people’s breath, spotting the asymptomatic carriers who aren’t sick but can infect others. By now you know the drill, so you diligently cough into the capsule and drop it into the machine resembling a massive microwave. You wait for about 30 seconds and the machine lights up green, chiming softly. You may now proceed to immigration, so you fumble for your passport and walk on.

These technologies may sound like science fiction, yet they are anything but. If you had travelled earlier this year when countries began locking down, you may have already spotted the remote infrared thermometers used in airports. However, while thermometers are helpful, they aren’t ideal. People can have fevers for others reasons or may harbour coronavirus without symptoms. To spot early infections or asymptomatic carriers, one has to check for the coronavirus particles in their breath.

That’s where the breathalyser comes in. You haven’t yet seen it at transit hubs, but it already exists at the photonics lab of Gabby Sarusi, professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. When Covid-19 struck and hospitals worldwide struggled to build fast and accurate biological diagnostic tests, Sarusi looked at the problem differently. As a physicist, he viewed the coronavirus’ spiky sphere not as a biological agent but as a nano-sized particle that can be sensed by specialised electrical equipment. When tossed into the midst of an electromagnetic field, the particles cause certain “interference” to the flow of electromagnetic waves, which can be detected. That’s what happens when the capsule is dropped into the microwave-resembling machine.

“We are taking the chip inside the capsule and we’re measuring it with a spectrometer that’s radiated with the magnetic waves,” Sarusi explained. If coronavirus particles are present, he said, “we can sense the shift.”

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